Fr. John Geoghan may be America's most prolific predator priest, with at least 150 victims over a 36 year clerical career. (He's not, however, the most efficient. That distinction goes to Mexico's Fr. Nicholas Aguilar Rivera who, in just 10 months in Los Angeles, reportedly assaulted 26 kids.)
Almost exactly a decade ago, the case of Fr. Alex Anderson was resolved in the St. Louis archdiocese. Remember this case the next time Pope Francis claims the church gets "picked on" over how it deals with child sex crimes.
Catholic officials hastily cry "media bias" at many stories about clergy sex crimes and cover ups.
The Associated Press' Rome bureau reports that Pope Francis is now “using the defensive rhetoric of the Vatican from a decade ago.”
Bishops consistently claim they aren't responsible for child sex crimes and cover ups committed by religious order clerics. "They're totally separate from us," bishops repeatedly say about the Jesuits, Salesians, Benedictines and the like.
Our first SNAP member who played in the NFL and to publicly speak out about his childhood trauma, Roy Simmons, has passed away, and our hearts go out to his family during this difficult and painful time.
Many assume or believe that Pope Francis is making significant changes in the church. We're pretty skeptical of this claim.
In less than a year Pope Francis has changed the image of the Church by preaching tolerance and wading into crowds to embrace the sick. Few doubt his sincerity. But there’s one area in which the Church hasn’t changed in image or substance: Its stance on child sex abuse by the clergy.
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child meets this week in Geneva to, among other things, investigate child sex abuse by Catholic clergy. The Vatican is sending representatives and announced it will put together another panel to look into the issue.
Today’s news out of Rome should dispel any notions that this pope is “better” on abuse than his predecessors.
Today, Pope Francis officially put out the welcome mat for child molesting clerics across the globe.
Today, the Vatican has told Polish prosecutors that it will NOT extradite Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski who stands accused of sexually assaulting at least five children.
First, we should all thank Billy Doe, his family, the police and the prosecutors whose courage made Lynn’s conviction possible. And we should thank prosecutors who plan to appeal this ruling. We of course hope the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will overturn it. And we call on Philly Catholic officials to keep Lynn permanently off the job or at least until this case is finally resolved.
Literally thousands of U.S. Catholic officials have done precisely what Msgr. Lynn did and were never even charged or exposed, much less convicted. And we believe that hundreds or thousands of chancery officials across the U.S. are doing – right now - exactly what Msgr. Lynn did.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.